Rugby Sevens, basketball 3×3 teams qualify for Birmingham 2022
The Commonwealth Games Federation and International Basketball Federation yesterday announced that the Kenya national 3x3 basketball teams, both men and women, have qualified for the Commonwealth Games 2022, Birmingham.
The 3x3 basketball teams join the Kenya Rugby 7s side, Shujaa, who were the first Kenyan team to qualify for Commonwealth Games 2022.
The 3x3 national team is currently the second-best team in the continent after Egypt. Taking possession of the slot through automatic qualification since Egypt isn’t a Commonwealth Country.
The men’s team comprises, Fidel Akoth, Ronald Gundo and Martin Buluma while the women are, Oluoch Taudencia, Melissa Akinyi, Natali Mwangale and Christine Akinyi.
In 2019, the team participated at the All-African Games and came in fourth. Later on, they took part in the African Cup Games in Kampala and came in 6th place.
Basketball 3x3 will be played in the heart of Birmingham City Centre at the Smithfield site, which is being transformed in readiness for Birmingham 2022.
This is Basketball 3x3’s first ever appearance at the Commonwealth Games. The more familiar 5x5 version of the game has been contested twice at the Commonwealth Games, first in Melbourne in 2006 and Gold Coast in 2018.
Shujaa got a direct qualification based on the Games’ Athlete Allocation System where ranking on the World Sevens Series from the seasons 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 as at 31 March 2020 and performance in WR Sevens Series and regional tournaments determine the direct qualified teams.
16 men’s teams will compete in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games rugby sevens competition, from 29-31 July, at the Coventry Stadium.
The women’s team on the other hand will wait for the African Regional Qualifier that should be done by early next year to get a spot in the Games.